Monday, October 17, 2011

Free Association Monday 1.0

I sit here, pondering what to write while simultaneously wondering if I'm ever going to find the right path. Or perhaps the right path is not what I think it is. Perhaps there is no right path. There is only the endless winding and interconnection of different roads, connecting the vast space between it all. I find that my thoughts lately have been scattered. Too many choices, not enough money is how my ego tends to break it all down. I'm working on moving past this into a more complex state of thought. I don't want my mind to be content with black and white ideals. My mind feels out of practice. I trip over words when I read, I fuck up dialogue. College provided a lot of the structure that I now lack. I think that's why everyone wants to return to school. Besides the fact that you seem to now need a Masters degree to increase your self-worth, it seems that school is treated as a safe haven from the making mistakes and accepting their consequences... Heaven knows I will be dealing with consequences for the rest of my life. But I don't want to see that as a horrible life sentence. I don't think it is. It's part of the life we live. The one we choose to meet every day. Why should I feel ashamed of having fucked up? I'm learning, aren't I? Aren't we all?

Why am I condemning myself? It doesn't make sense. Because whether or not we like to acknowledge it, we make our own hells. It's entirely a state of mind that is entirely malleable. There is nothing stopping anyone from suddenly deciding to let the bullshit just be there, and not investing anymore blood and tears into the matter. Our egos are preventing us from getting there. The ideas that the new iPhone will make you happy. That things, money, stuff is all designed to get us to this distant ideal nirvana. I've never believed in the power of things. This is part of the reason I own very little. Even those objects that have significance... I've given a lot of them up because what really matters is the memory, the lasting impression an experience, a person, a feeling has left on my heart.

There is much to be thankful for, and I am still learning to remember that. The writing helps.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The trouble with idealism...

Fastforward 3 months and I find myself at, yet, another crossroad... My job at Solace did not pan out and I've spent the last week coming to terms with that and picking up the pieces I dropped amidst the whirlwind of excitement and disappointment.

It's become apparent that I dove into this job head first, eyes closed. I basked in the glow of acceptance into their world. My elation was so dense that I didn't see the blow but moments before it hit me. Well, that isn't true. I saw signs, but I chose to ignore them. Untrue again. I did not ignore them, but I hoped. I hoped that by the grace of my person I would succeed. That there would be an end to the growing pains.

I feel disenchanted with the world right now. From the hypocrisy of the protestors and the Wall Street moguls alike to the unabashed violence of what are supposed to be protectors of my home city to (what feels like) another job failure, I want to cocoon myself for a little while.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sigh of Relief

After enduring nearly 3 weeks of patience and steadfastness I can confidently say that it has all paid off. The job I longed for has been confirmed, though I have yet to discuss the details with my soon-to-be employers. I quite literally spent the last two days holding my breath, jumping at every noise my phone uttered. It was only when I left my phone alone for long enough that I received an e-mail titled "Hi!". I knew then it had to be good news.

I took an enormous leap of faith by leaving my former job without the safety net of a steady job or a precise purpose. Fearful that I would reach destitution, or far worse become quickly disenchanted by my freshly recognized independence, far before I found work again, I dove head first into menial tasks like reconstructing my résumé and scouring the internet for signs of movement in the job market.

Despite the negative outlook many have towards Twitter, I can confirm its usefulness as a fast and reliable news feed. Had I not been soaking in social media I may not have discovered this incredibly valuable job opportunity, one that could take me to a new level of experience in my chosen field. Its real-time feed gave me the jump I needed on what I knew would be fierce competition. To be frank, if it weren't for Twitter, I may not have won this match.

As I await the details of my next assignment, I've had plenty of time to reflect on this path and where I am headed. I do not know precisely how it will all pan out, but I suppose I want to take the time to make some promises to myself.

I will breathe in times of stress.
I will allow myself to make mistakes. I will own them. I will fix them accordingly.
I will oversee my training by leaving no stone unturned and asking questions.
I will tell myself that this fear is only as real as I let it become.
I will remember everyone that has helped bring me to this point, and appreciate those that will take over and guide me further.

The details are incredibly easy to learn. A foundation of knowledge solidified by practice allowing for space to grow. This job I already know.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Absorb & Emit

I am virtually forcing myself to write in order to calm my nerves. I'm awaiting news that's going to drastically alter the path my life takes in these next few weeks, months, and hopefully, years. There is no certainty that this news will even arrive before my bedtime, but I am hoping. And I am hoping for a positive result. No, I'm not pregnant!

As an optimist and idealist, I want the best outcome for everyone. I've spent the better part of my life instilling my spot in the world as a conduit for positive energy, and the last few weeks have been no exception. In fact, now more than ever do I believe that emitting positive energy brings it back around. Like the Earth revolves around the sun, I know that this push and pull of energy is real. I can feel it in my blood.

Most people look at me like I just jumped off the Peace Train when I talk about these things, but their approval isn't my primary goal. I feel that if even one person can understand a small bit of the ideal I attempt to convey then I am doing something right. Even if their entire purpose is to disprove my personal doctrine, I don't take offense. Our world is so complex and so awe-inspiring that it begs us to question it. It's when we stop questioning that I become afraid. However, that fear never lasts long. My existence is too full of things to keep me distracted by negative energy and the impulses that follow.

I am accepting that no matter what follows, I'll still be all right. I am still breathing. Still loving. It reminds me of a moment, a short clip in my life, when I could have very easily lost everything. Everything being my very life breath. It was also in that moment I gave myself up, and accepted what was ahead of me. Fear did not vanish, but it morphed into something else entirely. It became strength.

They say the most important lessons are the ones you learn over and over again. And here I am, learning to let go again. No other choice.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Unemployed: A Love/Hate Dynamic

Many of my friends now know that I have recently left my position as General Manager for a restaurant located in California's South Bay, and that I am now questing for a new job, preferably one that will allow me to stretch my managerial wings even further. I learned a lot over the year and a half that I dedicated to my last position, but the fact of the matter was that I had no more room to expand.

I was introduced as a barista and my work experience combined with my love of all things food-related and customer service propelled me into management. In a way, I could see the end far before I got there. To be a GM for a family-owned operation means that there is an end, but where there is an end lies another beginning, to be positively existential about the matter.

In the mean time, as I apply for jobs, pester hiring managers, and await responses, I have taken to relaxing and soaking up my free time. I spent the better part of a year stressing my body out and allowing important areas of my life to atrophy: relations with friends, my emotional health... Hell, I couldn't even call my mother on a decent schedule. I don't want to wither away out of frustration and greed and fear. Fear. I know it all stems from the ever-looming fear that only affluence equals happiness. Such an ideal is not true, I know, but it is a difficult battle to fight when so many seem to give into it.

All of this tension surrounding how to live and how to live better than your neighbor leaves a sense of unease about me. I cycle through feelings of disenchantment and ardor toward the world. A dilemma that will only no longer be a dilemma when I stop seeing it as such. It is getting easier though...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An awakening of sorts...

Do you ever notice how much of your individuality begins to atrophy while you're in a relationship?

So much of what you do or say or think involves a completely different person. One separate from yourself. We begin to identify our selves, our personalities, our self-worth through our relationships, especially romantic ones.

I don't want this for myself. I don't want to be waiting by the phone until 2AM for someone else to confirm that I am worth their time. I don't want someone's Facebook status to pull on my heartstrings. I don't want to be seen as a package deal. That's not how this works.

I want to choose who I spend my time with. Not to have some predetermined schedule based on what my significant other is doing. I want to feel just as content spending my evening eating Ben & Jerry's, reading Inked, and exfoliating my feet as I do having the car door held open for me by a chivalrous gentleman.

It doesn't mean that I'm always happy to arrive home to a darkened house, or that I don't sometimes yearn for a soul mate when I see a couple cuddled together, picking out vegetables in the grocery store. Those feelings are normal and human, but they aren't looking to satiate them isn't propelling me toward any sort of personal growth... In fact, I think satisfying our need to be adored inhibits growth. Think about it...

Many people get into relationships because they want recognition that they are good, worthwhile, and lovable. Instead of choosing to learn about our selves, we transfer this responsibility to another human being. Understandably, this is not how a relationship begins, but over time I've realized that it becomes less and less about spending time with a person you care for, and more about satisfying one's selfish need to be wanted. When we are wanted, we are worth something. When someone calls you, they were thinking of you... It's a drug; a dependency.

I fear that this outlook has now rendered me incapable of wanting a relationship... This does not mean I cannot love. In truth, I believe I can love more and more fully when I am free to send it at my own will. But a relationship seems so selfish now... So presumptuous.

I don't want to be a measure of another's self worth. I can't possibly take on such a responsibility without inevitable occasional failure. It's not fair to the way our very human minds and bodies function.

Perhaps I'm simply dreaming all of this... And in that case, none of it really matters at all, does it?

Friday, April 1, 2011

The bittersweet between my teeth...

I wanted to log a collection of special memories... Honoring feelings, people, events that have shaped who I am in this current moment. They are as follows (in no particular order)...

1. Swim and sunset in Del Mar
2. Watching the sun set over Bellver de Cerdanya, Spain
3. Meeting a kindred spirit in Athens
4. Lunar eclipse on a hostel roof top in Barcelona
5. Swimming in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain
6. Surviving my lone day hike along the coast of Zakynthos
7. Cloud white-out atop Mt. Lincoln

More will follow.